Episode Seven: Stalker: Scene 21

“The book is at the cathedral, yes.” Father William considered me. “But getting you in to look at it?”

“I suppose I could…but no. I think I need to do it myself.” There were things I couldn’t relay. The feel of him. The smell…I was pretty sure it was a smell, not some other sense I was having problems defining.

“I can try, but you aren’t a priest or a nun.”

“I could disguise myself as a nun,” I quipped.

“A novice, maybe.”

He had a point. I knew somebody else who not only could but would disguise himself as a nun. But…no. Not encouraging him to join in on this. “A novice wouldn’t be given access to something like that.”

“No. But…” He frowned.
“Is there a copy?”

“No. You can’t just…copy it. Like a lot of magical books, it has to be duplicated in a certain way. So there aren’t many, and the cathedral only has one.”

I nodded. “I don’t want to sneak in. I really don’t. You don’t think they’d take ‘I need to identify a major demon’ seriously?”

“You aren’t even Catholic.” He considered that, looking at me. “Or ever likely to be Catholic.”

“So, giving you a good description might be the only…or…” I considered. “I think the best solution would be for you to get an eyeball on him. I don’t think you’re without a certain sensitivity.”

He laughed a bit at that. “If you can set that up, I won’t complain. As long as…”

“I’ll do my best to make sure he doesn’t notice you. Then you go, get the book, see if you can find his name.”

And then we could do the rest. The succubi had been minor. For a lord or prince, Thea said, you needed the name. That was why the Black Book was so important.

Copied in a certain way. “Magic is annoying,” I added.

“You say that?” He arched an eyebrow. “I’m pretty sure you have your own share.”

“It doesn’t work that way, though.” Did he know? Did he suspect? But he wasn’t asking me to leave, so I could live with his suspicions. I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.

“No. Witchcraft does…of all kinds.”

I wondered if a witch, the bad kind, was responsible for Martin’s presence in the first place.

“There’s one other thing. It used to be that demons couldn’t get into this city.”

An eyebrow arched. “Really?”

“L’Enfant’s design contained some pretty serious wards, but they’ve faded with time and nobody knows how to renew them any more.”

That, I thought, was something to look into. For later. For now. “I’ll remember that.”

“Just let me know when we’re going to do the Demon Lineup.”

I grinned at that. “Okay.”

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